TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) was apparently fined $5,000 for evading metal detectors while entering the House floor inside the U.S. Capitol Building.
According to multiple outlets including Forbes and CNN, Gohmert and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) skirted the required metal detector pass. They are the first members of the House to be fined for such an evasion. Earlier this week, the House voted 216-210 to adopt new security protocols, among them included House members facing a $5,000 for a first-time offense of evading or otherwise refusing to go through metal detectors. The fine is increased to $10,000 for each subsequent offense. The fines will be deducted directly from the members’ salaries.
Gohmert, according to news website Axios, plans to appeal the fine. Axios quotes Gohmert as saying, “(T)his isn’t ‘The Godfather’ where you plant a gun in the toilet tank … There is no toilet tank in the bathroom.”
On Friday evening, Rep. Gohmert’s office released the following statement:
Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) has issued the following statement on the accusation he broke the new House Rule on metal detectors:”This should come as no surprise, but Democrats are making up the rules as they go.
“For weeks, I have complied with Speaker Pelosi’s unconstitutional metal detector policy.
“Yesterday, after complying with the metal detector screening, I was allowed to enter the House session where debate was occurring. Knowing that I would soon be giving a speech, I stepped off the House floor to use the restroom right beside the Speaker’s lobby as I have done many times since the metal detectors have been installed.
“At no time until yesterday did anyone mention the need to be wanded after entering the restroom directly in front of the guards. The three main entrances have metal detectors, but the House floor entrance from the Speakers’ Lobby does not. Originally I had gone around the metal detectors a few times until it was mandated. I have been complying for weeks since.
“I explained to the Capitol Police officer that I had never been required to be screened again from the restroom immediately by the House floor since the metal detectors had been in place at the other doors. I said they had witnessed me walk the few feet to the men’s room, enter and take the few steps back. No one ever mentioned or made that a requirement until yesterday.
“Unlike in the movie The Godfather, there are no toilets with tanks where one could hide a gun, so my reentry onto the House floor should have been a non-issue.
“Since I had been complying with the metal detector requirement despite the Constitutional issue, I was surprised to receive a notice today stating that I had not complied with their policy and that I would be fined $5,000.
“I will be appealing the fine and taking whatever action is necessary, especially considering this policy is unconstitutional.
“Article 1, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution contains specific language prohibiting Members of Congress from being detained on the way to or from a session of the House.
“This fine has nothing to do with following the rules and everything to do with furthering the Democrats’ never ending scheme to demonize and punish their political opponents.
“Nonetheless, I have been trying to comply, but it gets difficult to do so when Democrats keep changing the rules and their enforcement.”